India in South Africa

Preview: After record win, Harmanpreet and Co look to press advantage in 2nd T20I

The young Indian batters showed tremendous courage to chase down a mammoth 165-run target in the opener.

After getting off to a perfect start with a record-breaking win, Indian would look to continue its supremacy over South Africa when the two sides clash in the second Twenty20 International at East London on Friday.

After a 2-1 win in the One-day International series, the Harmanpreet Kaur’s side started the T20s on a confident note, drubbing the hosts by seven wickets after pulling off a stunning chase.

The manner in which the young Indian side came out guns blazing made the loss in the dead rubber third ODI prior to the series look like a rare bad day in office. The visitors overhauled a massive 165-run target with consummate ease, reaching home with seven balls to spare. While chasing, veteran Mithali Raj (54 *) held the Indian innings together and shared two crucial stands – a 69-run partnership for the third wicket with debutant Jemimah Rodrigues (37) and a 52-run unbeaten stand with Veda Krishnamurthy (37*) – to steer her side home.

Mithali’s knock, her 11th T20I half-century, came off 48 deliveries with the help of half a dozen fours and one six. It was however, the 17-year-old Rodrigues who stole the show, hitting four boundaries and a six during her breezy 27-ball knock. Krishnamurthy was at her attacking best and took her side over the line with a huge six over deep mid-wicket.

In-form opener Smriti Mandhana, while missing out somewhat, still got the team off to a solid start with a fluent 28. Skipper Harmanpreet is due a good knock and had owing to a run out.

India’s bowling conundrum

The Indian batting looks in shape but their bowling is a cause of concern in the absence of veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami, who has been ruled out of the series because of a heel injury.

Young fast bowler Pooja Vastrakar (1/34) looked nervous on her debut and plenty of loose deliveries to Dane van Niekerk and Mignon du Preez. Her pace colleague, Shikha Pandey’s (1/41) performance, was a major let-down in the death overs.

In the absence of Jhulan, Pandey would need to shoulder more responsibility upfront. T20 specialist Anuja Patil was the star for India in the last match, claiming 2/23 in her four overs to pin down South Africa’s batting line-up in the middle overs. But, she would definitely need support from the other spinners – Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav and Harmanpreet.

Mithali Raj was impressed with her young teammates, “It’s good to have the youngsters in the squad. Usually when you have a few new members, they get a lot of positive energy into the team and they are quite active on the ground too,” the 34-year-old said.

For South Africa, the key would be not to get bogged down by the setback and build on the positives. Chloe Tryon’s blistering unbeaten 32 from seven balls was a big takeaway from the last match and skipper Van Niekerk is hoping that the team builds on it. “We need to regroup, we need to speak open and honestly with each other and see where we can change stuff. Our fielding wasn’t at its best and we pride ourselves on our fielding,” Niekerk said.

“T20 is so short and the margins are so much smaller, so hopefully we can bounce back in the next few. I’d like to win the next four and go away from this tour smiling.”

Squads:

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia, Nuzhat Parveen Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav.

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Marizanne Kapp, Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Sune Luus, Odine Kirsten, Mignon du Preez, Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Moseline Daniels.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Decoding the symbolic threads and badges of one of India’s oldest cavalry units

The untold story of The President’s Bodyguard.

The national emblem of India; an open parachute and crossed lances – this triad of symbols representing the nation, excellence in training and valor respectively are held together by an elite title in the Indian army – The President’s Bodyguard (PBG).

The PBG badge is worn by one of the oldest cavalry units in the India army. In 1773, Governor Warren Hastings, former Governor General of India, handpicked 50 troopers. Before independence, this unit was referred to by many titles including Troops of Horse Guards and Governor General’s Body Guards (GGBG). In 1950, the unit was named The President’s Bodyguard and can be seen embroidered in the curved maroon shoulder titles on their current uniforms.

The President’s Bodyguard’s uniform adorns itself with proud colours and symbols of its 245 year-old-legacy. Dating back to 1980, the ceremonial uniform consists of a bright red long coat with gold girdles and white breeches, a blue and gold ceremonial turban with a distinctive fan and Napoleon Boots with spurs. Each member of the mounted unit carries a special 3-meter-long bamboo cavalry lance, decorated by a red and white pennant. A sheathed cavalry sabre is carried in in the side of the saddle of each trooper.

While common perception is that the PBG mainly have ceremonial duties such as that of being the President’s escort during Republic Day parade, the fact is that the members of the PBG are highly trained. Handpicked by the President’s Secretariat from mainstream armored regiments, the unit assigns a task force regularly for Siachen and UN peace keeping operations. Moreover, the cavalry members are trained combat parachutists – thus decorating the PBG uniform with a scarlet Para Wings badge that signifies that these troopers are a part of the airborne battalion of the India Army.

Since their foundation, the President’s Guard has won many battle honors. In 1811, they won their first battle honor ‘Java’. In 1824, they sailed over Kalla Pani for the first Burmese War and earned the second battle honour ‘Ava’. The battle of Maharajapore in 1843 won them their third battle honor. Consequently, the PBG fought in the main battles of the First Sikh War and earned four battle honours. Post-independence, the PBG served the country in the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

The PBG, one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, is a unique unit. While the uniform is befitting of its traditional and ceremonial role, the badges that augment those threads, tell the story of its impressive history and victories.

How have they managed to maintain their customs for more than 2 centuries? A National Geographic exclusive captures the PBG’s untold story. The documentary series showcases the discipline that goes into making the ceremonial protectors of the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces.

Play

The National Geographic exclusive is a landmark in television and is being celebrated by the #untoldstory contest. The contest will give 5 lucky winners an exclusive pass to the pre-screening of the documentary with the Hon’ble President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can also nominate someone you think deserves to be a part of the screening. Follow #UntoldStory on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to participate.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic and not by the Scroll editorial team.